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white house correspondent briana kee brianna keilar has more. >> reporter: a promise from president obama to tackle gun violence. >> we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics. >> reporter: what exactly does he mean by meaningful action? critics of the president's record on the issue are pressing for specific proposals. new york mayor michael bloomberg said calling for meaningful action is not enough. we need immediate act action. we heard all the rhetoric before. what we have not seen is leadership. not from the white house and not from congress. gun violence has not been a priority for the obama administration. as he ran for president in 2008, he supported running a ban on assault weapons. >> keeping ak 47s out of the hands of criminals. >> reporter: once selected, he did not make good on his campaign pledge. the brady campaign to prevent gun violence gave the president across the board fs on its report card. >> the senate will come to order. >> reporter: a major obstacle for the president, congre
. brianna keilar is covering this morning's urgent talks happening in washington. christine romans is here to talk about the impact first, and alison kosik with how investors are reacting this hour. >>> first, another story. the health condition of the nation's top diplomat. this morning secretary of state hillary clinton is waking up now in a new york hospital. she is being treated for a blood clot that formed after her fall and concussion that happened a few weeks ago. want to bring in dr. sanjay gupta, our chief medical correspondent. sanjay, explain this for us because, first of all, when you think about it, she developed this blood clot related to a concussion. you would think maybe the clot formed in the brain, but that's not necessarily the case. >> no, it's not necessarily the case. and i think saying it's related to the concussion, that may be putting that wrong impression possibly in people's minds. there's a really simple reason why, suzanne. she's being treated with blood thinners, or anti-coagulants. if this were a blood clot on top of the brain or around the brain, you wouldn
christmas. brianna key lore keilar in honolulu. what happens now, is it at a standoff or are the lines of communication open during the holidays? >> well, right now, the lines of communication are open, certainly between president obama and the white house. and not necessarily speaker boehner, although there is some sort of lines of communication. but really, the ball is not in boehner's court anymore. it is president obama talking to the senate. he's talking to the senate democratic leader, harry reed, talking to move forward with some sort of smaller package to avert those tax hikes that are set to kick in. and obviously there's going to need to be some buy-in from the senate minority leader, republican mitch mcconnell. so that's where things stand. and president obama is actually hopeful that something could still be pulled off. listen. >> nobody can get 100% of what they want. and this is not simply a contest between parties in terms of who looks good and who doesn't. call me a hopeless optimist. but i actually still think we can get it done. >> reporter: now, of course, if the sen
christmas. our white house correspondent brianna keilar is traveling with the president in honolulu. brianna, are the white house and republicans even talking? >> reporter: no. they're not, carol. there's no substantive discussions going on between the white house and senate democrats and senate republicans and house republicans. and this is key because in order for the cliff to be averted, there will need to be something passed through congress in both the senate and the house that would require the work of both democrats and republicans. that is very much an issue as all attention now turns toward the senate, which will reconvene on thursday. a lot of focus there. that's where things are expected to start. right now the white house is still saying that they want a plan to avert tax hikes for folks making $25000 or less. it's sort of unlikely, it seems, that republicans would support th that, but senate majority leader harry reid needs to figure out a way to cobble things together that they will get republican support in the senate and the house. carol, there is a significant chance -- and
. and that is especially uncertain. >> cnn's brianna keilar. >>> tonight one of the u.s. navy's deployed special forces commanders is dead. he was in afghanistan and military investigators are working on the belief that he took his own life. here's our pentagon correspondent barbara starr with what few details we have so far. barbara? >> don, very sad news this holiday weekend for u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s. the navy is investigating the death in afghanistan of one of its most senior deployed s.e.a.l. officers as an apparent suicide, a u.s. military official tells cnn. navy commander joe w. price, 42 years old, died december 22nd, while serving as the commanding officer of s.e.a.l. team 4, a group of more than two dozen commandos conducting combat operations in the southern region of the country. while the death remains under formal investigation, that u.s. military official who's directly familiar with the event said the family has been notified of the death, and has also been notified it is being investigated as an apparent suicide. there is no indication at this time that commander price was involved in an
from hawaii. brianna keilar is traveling with the president. she's going to join us live. that's 25 minutes from now. >>> u.s. senator michael crapo s says he's deeply sorry for driving under the influence of alcohol. the republican who is also a mormon was pulled over, tested and arrested after running a red light early yesterday morning in virginia. he says he made a mistake and deal with whatever penalty he is given. >>> the u.s. navy seals are again mourning the loss of one of their own. a military official tells cnn that commander job price died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. price was a commander officer of seal team 4, that's the unit with more than two dozen members that operates in central afghanistan. the official says there's no indication at this point that price was under any investigation or involved in any controversies. >>> former republican senator chuck hagel has not been nominated as defense secretary, but members of his own party already signaling an uphill confirmation battle if he is. barbara star has more on in surprising backlash. good morning to you. i t
it it done. brianna keilar joins me now. is the president just sitting in the oval office waiting for a bill to get delivered to him? where's he in all of this? >> reporter: vice president biden is very much the president's proxy in all of this. it's easy to understand why. both the president and vice president served in the senate, but biden served in the senate for decades with all of the players that he now has to engage with. he knows the personalities. he knows the rhythms of the senate and of congress better than president obama, you could argue. it makes sense that he's serving as the president's proxy. this is something the president is engaged with. this is something the white house is very engaged with. he said yesterday he's optimistic that a deal can be struck. i think that's not surprising. that's what you'd expect to come from president obama. but we're also -- we sort of said tonight is the deadline and that's true because a lot of the tax cuts expire at midnight. the sense we're getting from a lot of sources and from members of congress is that perhaps tonight isn't a hard an
congress to pass a mini plan that would preserve middle class tax rates. brianna keilar joins us live from hawaii. what do we think will happen as the holiday week rolls out? >> reporter: well, and don, we should probably say where our senate majority leader harry reid and senator mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate, because now all eyes turn to the senate. they're set to come back to town on the 27th. that is thursday. and at this point there are a number of options for some sort of bill that senate majority leader harry reid could put on the floor, but right now it appears democrats in the white house are pushing for something that still concentrates on making sure that income tax rates for those making a quarter million dollars or less don't go up. that said, it's really hard to see how at that rate senator mcconnell might allow some republican senators to support it or that some republican senators would even want to jump on board with that and even harder to see how a bill like that is something that house speaker john boehner would allow to the floor -- allow to the house
guys in there tangoing, you have a chance to get it done. >> brianna keilar is live now from washington. we don't have a lot of details about what went on in that meeting. maybe if they're both not talking, that may be a good thing. >> that's right. in fact, we have almost absolutely no details. the things that really interesting, though, to observers here is the statement that came out from the white house and from the speaker's office. they're the same statement verbatim. they're not leaking details. and that's something that you may see as possibly a good thing. it's certainly not a bad thing. it means they're coordinating and trying to negotiate or speak with good faith here. so this is, as you mentioned, the first time that the two have met in the last 23 days. this is the first time that john boehner and president obama have met one-on-one since election day just to give you a sense. again, to stress no word on progress that they're really get being anywhe -- getting anywhere here. house republicans don't want to cave on the white house's demand, the tax income race, the income ta
favoring compromise. white house correspondent brianna keilar is following some of these negotiations for us. 19 days and counting. how is it feeling? >> reporter: right now it's not going well, at least that's what you get when you listen to house speaker john boehner talk about conversations with the president. they are talking, soledad. the staff of both the white house and house republicans are in touch, but speaker boehner said about his sunday conversation with president obama that it was cordial, and then he said about his tuesday conversation with the president that it was deliberate and frank. so you -- it doesn't take too much to read between the lines there to show you that things are not going that well. they have exchanged another set of counteroffers to no avail, and still at this point there is this impasse over tax rates. the white house, president obama saying that the income tax rate for earnings over a quarter million dollars must go up. republicans saying no and accusing the president of not being specific about spending cuts and entitlement reforms, reform medicar
on the off chance he and congress might be able to cut some kind of deal. he left. but brianna keilar is still there in honolulu. when's the president leaving and why does he really expect to avoid the cliff? >> reporter: i will be leaving as well when the president leaves, don. he is expected. he will be leaving tonight. that's local time. so he'll be traveling overnight and arriving back in the d.c. area late thursday morning. as you know, the senate reconvenes tomorrow. so he'll be going back as that is happening. we heard from him last week as he was heading out to hawaii. he said, see you next week. we had a thought that this was probably going to happen. he is officially now going back. he said last week, don, that he is still optimistic that something can get done. the other issue here, though, is you can imagine, how bad it would look if he go over the cliff and there's a lot of work to make sure that doesn't happen. he's here in hawaii on vacation. that would look terrible for him. so obviously he has a lot of work to do. the way the white house sees it, talking to sources, h
before the end of the year? brianna keilar, what is the latest on this? >> hi, there, drew. president obama will be heading home from hawaii tonight, logical time arri arriving in d.c. thursday morning when the senate will be reconvenin reconvening, and the senate, all eyes on now, that we look for the last-ditch effort to avoid the fiscal cliff. even though the president is returning on thursday, we may not see the senate roll out its bill to deal with the fiscal cliff. perhaps for a couple of days. this is entirely possible we've learned from sources as senate majority leader harry reid works to get republican support in the senate, which he will need if he's going to pass a bill. and so we're still waiting to see exactly what it will look like that the white house wants for the threshold on income tax rates to cut off at $250,000. we will see if that ultimately is what senate majority leader reid rolls out. as of this point in time, we're expecting this to be a limited measure to deal just really with the fiscal cliff, which was supposed to be appear incentive to deal with the long
connell and john boehner representing the republicans. brianna keilar is live from washington. is anybody optimistic that a deal could be done today around a table? >> i will tell you the optimism is sort of sinking. senate majority leader harry reid said he doesn't see how it can get done by january 1st. we heard from president obama before he left from his vacation that he was optimistic. logistically the white house will tell you it's possible. when you listen to what you're hearing some of these congressional leaders say, there's a lot of posturing laying blame to the other side if we do go over the cliff. take a listen. >> republicans are not about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies, watching their kids play soccer, basketball, doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, house speaker john boehner is saying the senate needs to just take up a house pass bill that has already passed t
and joining me is white house correspondent brianna keilar. there are people talking about what that political calculation means and even that term itself is becoming political. so spell it out if you would please, brianna. >> reporter: there is a political calculation going on over here at the white house, and that's that the white house and congressional democrats feel that they have more of the leverage and they do. they feel like when you look at polls that show increasing taxes on the wealthy is popular, that if the country were to go over the fiscal cliff, they would be more effective in blaming it on republicans than vice versa. they feel like republicans know that. and they feel like they can kind of paint republicans in to this corner on income tax rates but as you know, as of right now, december 3rd and we have obviously a few weeks here before the fiscal cliff hits, as of right now neither side is budging and republicans are saying that they're not going to budge on those income tax rates but the white houses drawing a line over this. >> what do we know about plans for this week? i
again. brianna keilar is live with the latest for us. the president said meaningful yesterday. he even teared up. i was at the white house last night for a -- supposed to be a celebration but it was kind of somber and the president mentioned that at the christmas party the victims of this particular tragedy. what does he mean by meaningful? >> reporter: meaningful action, actually, we don't know. what we do know and this is the sense i'm getting is that he does mean something, that he does actually mean that some action should be taken but in terms of the specifics, don, we don't know what they are. and this is the sense i'm getting that this is a general promise to pursue something to try to avert future tragedies like this one. the sense here at the white house is that the president has sort of experienced with the country almost a handful now of these tragedies between ft. hood, between the shooting of congresswoman gabby giffords, the sikh temple shooting that you mentioned and this one, especially with the age of the victims, just sort of really bringing home the fact that somethi
stop people from killing people. that's a central question. brianna keilar shows us how the new debate on gun patrol is putting new pressure on barack obama. >> reporter: just hours after the connecticut shooting, a promise from president obama to tackle gun violence. >> we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this. regardless of the politics. >> reporter: but what exactly does he mean by meaningful action? critics of the president's record on the issue are pressing for specific proposals. new york mayor, michael bloomberg said calling for meaningful action is not enough. we need immediate action. we have heard all the rhetoric before. what we have not seen is leadership. not from the white house, and not from congress. gun violence has not been a priority for the obama administration as he ran for president in 2008, obama supported reinstating a ban on assault weapons. >> don't tell me we can't uphold the second amendment while keeping ak-47s out of the hands of criminals. >> reporter: once again being he did not make good on his
is keep iing a close eye on today's numbers. brianna keilar joins us now live. good morning, brianna. >> reporter: good morning to you, don. we're still awaiting reaction from the white house and also from congssional republicans. they've long said at the white house, take a look at the trend of these nuchls over the month. so this number, paired with the last couple of months on its face, they will say the trajectory looks good, obviously more needs to be done. maybe the president can point to this and say my economic policies are working. the fact is that the election is over, many americans bought that argument. you're not seeing the frenzy here or even on the hill, quite frankly, in responding to these jobs numbers and trying to spin them. but also to the point that alison made as well. perhaps it's something that doesn't add a whole lot of fuel to this current debate that is occupying washington over the fiscal cliff and finding a deficit reduction plan and also sort of coupled with trying to avoid these spending cuts and tax increases that are set for the end of the year, don.
, no new talks are scheduled. brianna keilar joins us. so many republicans say they are pessimistic about a deal happening in time to avert this fiscal cliff. some say it's for political reasons. what can you tell us? >> it may all be for political reasons. that's no surprise in washington. as you can seen through dealmaking not just on this but things in the past couple of years between the white house and congress, there is almost this rhythm that has evolved. both sides are pointing to the other for an impasse. republicans like senator lindeyy graham just slamming the white house and tim geithner for a plan he laid out on behalf of the administration, laying out about $1.6 trillion in new revenues coupled with only about $400 billion in medicare cuts. listen to what graham said. >> i think we're going over the cliff. it's pretty clear to me they made a political calculation. this offer doesn't remotely deal with entitlement reform in a way to save medicare, medicaid and social security from imminent bankruptcy. the president's plan when it comes to entitlement form is quite frankly a j
on tax hikes and spending cuts set to go in effect after the first of the year. brianna keilar is live in hawaii where the president is spending the christmas holiday. brianna, the president maybe a little too optimistic that a deal can be reached? aloha, by the way. >> he did say last night that he is a hopeless optimist that something can get done, but what we know, it's not going to be that big package, obviously of deficit reduction as well as dealing with these tax hikes that are set to kick in. that's not what's going to be happening, instead, he's pressing for something smaller just to a deal with stopping those tax hikes from kicking in for americans making $250,000 per year or less. and also trying to make sure that unemployment benefits are extended. listen to what president obama said last night and also listen to what some of the house republican resistance from speaker boehner to his sort of short-term plan here. >> in the next few days, i've asked leaders of congress to work towards a package that prevents a tax hike on middle class americans, protects unemployment insura
been rejected by the white house. brianna keilar is live from washington. what now, brianna? >> well, right now it's about the pressure building and the clock kicking, zoraida. as house republicans in the white house try to ultimately broker a deal between two very different plans. house speaker john boehner's counteroffer, if you take a look at the headlines from this $800 billion in what would be savings from tax reform. so that is new tax revenue. but not done by increasing income tax rate on the wealthiest. but instead by closing tax loopholes, eliminating tax credits. and also $600 billion in health savings. that's what you'd get from entitlement reform. from reforming medicare, and doing some cuts there under this plan. but compare it to the white house plan, very different than what's on the table there. $1.6 trillion in new taxes. that is two times the amount in the boehner plan, and also, of course, includes increasing those income tax rates for the wealthy. $400 billion to medicare and other entitlements, that's $ 00 billion less than in the speaker's counteroffer and this
. >> i would say we're nowhere. period. we're nowhere. >> i would say we're frustrated. brianna keilar is live in washington. all right, so we know it's not in the plan. no repeal of the bush tax cuts. but what is in this plan and how is it different from the white house proposal? >> let's look at the headlines here from speaker boehner's counteroffer. $800 billion in tax reform savings. this is the tax revenue, this would be the new taxes. this would be done by closing loopholes, limiting deductions, not, obviously, by increasing income tax rates for the wealthy. $600 billion in health savings. that's the entitlement reform. that's medicare cuts. cuts to other entitlements. compare this to the white house, $1.6 trillion in new taxes, so that's two times the amount in speaker boehner's counteroffer. and $400 billion in cuts to medicare and entitlements. so that's $200 billion less than speaker boehner's. also something in here that the white house has proposed as a nonstarter for house republicans was having congress give up their debt limit vote. the white house is call being speaker
and the president has gone to holiday on vacation. brianna keilar is out there for us in honolulu, eight days away from the fiscal cliff. are there any contacts occurring on this topic between the president and anyone in congress, briana? >> reporter: there is an open line of communication, i would say, with senate democrats, hala. but there is really no substantive conversations between the folks that you with need for there to be conversations between in order to strike a deal. the white house and congressional republicans, and perhaps more alarmingly, senate democrats are not in conversations right now with senate republicans or with house republicans. and this is problematic obviously because in order to avoid the fiscal cliff, you would need to find some sort of deal that would make it through the senate and the house and that would need democratic and republican support. now, all eyes on the senate because they will reconvene on the 27th, thursday. and senate majority leader harry reid, it is up to him, really, to cobble together something that can get some of that support. right now the whi
hawaii tonight to try to work on a bargain between democrats and republicans. brianna keilar is traveling with the president in hawaii and joins us now. good morning, brianna. did the president cut his vacation short or was it planned all along? >> reporter: he did cut his vacation short from what was initially planned which was to go through the new year, so yes, he cut it short. i think we have a sense he might be heading back to d.c., carol, you'll recall when talks fell apart last week between house speaker john boehner and the president as the president departed for hawaii he talked to reporters in the briefing room and he said "see you next week" so i think we had a sense he would be coming back earlier than initially planned and it was just a matter of when, not if, and he'll be heading back tonight, that's local time so he'll be traveling overnight, it's quite a long flight, nine or ten hours and he'll be back in d.c. by thursday late morning. >> any behind the scene talks over the holiday? >> reporter: right now the white house has been in communication with senate democrats but
it has become a priority for many lawmakers. brianna keilar is joining us with more on this debate. where is it heading, brianna? >> reporter: wolf, it's heating up. the nra is having a press conference tomorrow. that's also a sign that this debate is heating up and it's no coincidence that that comes on the heels of the white house detailing some of the steps it wants to take on gun violence. today, for the first time, the white house got specific on how the president will tackle gun violence. >> is he actively considering measures, be it gun laws or mental health measures right now? >> well, he is actively supportive of, for example, senator feinstein's stated intent to revive a piece of legislation that would reinstate the assault weapons ban. >> reporter: the white house says the president would like to close the gun loophole and look at measures that address mental health. critics have said that the president has not led on gun rights and they say it's time to find a bipartisan solution. >> i think most republicans are willing to have a very serious conversation and find out what the
team. >> we are covering all angles with foreign affairs reporter alyse lavitt and brianna keilar. briana, the president was vocal in his support. after two months, a lack of confidence here? >> reporter: i think definitely there was a lack of confidence, that this was a fight that the president wanted to have right now. it's obvious that president obama has a great affinity for ambassador rice. you can see that when he talks about her. he came to her defense in the last month quite a bit but i think there was a lot of concern about the timing and whether this was a fight that he wanted to have. he had said in his first, in his press conference following his re-election that if he thought she was the best person for the job, that he would nominate her but he went on to not pin himself in, not to make a decision, and some of the critics who were in the corner of susan rice say this may have actually sealed her fate. she ended up heading up to capitol hill trying to defend herself against her role immediately following what happened in benghazi and trying to explain that on behalf o
republicans for it. >> white house correspond respondent brianna keilar traveling live with the president, joins us from honolulu, hawaii. i suspect this is a working vacation for the president. >> it is what of a working vacation. he is always keeping his on eye on things. but there are not a lot of discussions going on. the white house no longer really having any substantive conversations with house speaker john boehner or senate minority leader mitch mcconnell which is key in finding something to get through the senate and perhaps because of that, i guess some of that pessimism that you are hearing from republicans like senator brasso, shared by democrats. take a listen. >> i feel that it's more likely that we will go over the cliff than not and that -- if we allow that to happen, it will be the most colossal consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time, maybe ever in american history. >> so all eyes now on the senate, which will reconvene on thursday. senate majority leader harry reid has the task of trying to cobble something together that can get through, not o
-moving washington to get something done. brianna keilar following the drama from honolulu, hawaii. she's there with the president. what is the latest. >> president obama is officially cutting short his christmas vacation and heading back from hawaii. tonight, hawaiian time, early in the morning on the east coast and returning to the d.c. area on thursday. as the senate is set to reconvene and all eyes really are looking there to see what senate majority leader harry reid can cobble together in order to get republican support to avoid the fiscal cliff. he'll also have to put together something that will get republican support in the house. this is a last-ditch effort and will be obviously very difficult if it succeeds at all. at this point, the white house still wants that threshold for income tax rates to be at 250,000. it's unclear, exactly what the senate proposal is going to look like. as we understand from sources, al inna, it could be a couple of days, even though this are reconvening tomorrow, it could be a couple of days before they outline the proposal. we're told by sources th
of fascinating to us. however, we're all doing it, on top of it, so is white house correspondent brianna keilar. what is your crystal ball, combined with contacts and experience telling you about what will happen with the fiscal cliff today? >> all signs point to iffy, i will tell that you, ali. some senators are saying there may be a deal by tonight. some are saying there will be a vote by midnight tonight, some say we're going over the cliff. it's hard to tell. the expectation, even if we go over the fiscal cliff. right now, congress is still looking at trying to resolve this here in the next few days. so it's not as if we go over the cliff and stay there. there would be time to resolve the issue. that being said, we saw a whirlwind of negotiating on capitol hill. and right now, after things sort of didn't work out between mitch mcconnle and harry reid, the top republican and top democrat in the senate, they have shifted between mitch mcconnell and vice president joe biden. that's where all of the action is right now. keeping the speaker of the house john boehner abreast of what's going on. k
." >>reporter: brianna keilar, cnn, the white house. >> another storm system for tonight it is going to bring periods of light/moderate rainfall. the stormtracker 4 picking up some light showers and drizzle. the santa cruz mountains and notice that light green on the mountains. and showers in at the route a san francisco in the east bay. walnut creek, 680. highway no. 4 in and also some scattered light showers on the main system mainly after midnight. when it is done the tonight look for one quarter of one engine locations near the bay. higher amounts at the other locations with one-quarter of one-inch locations to the bay. this live look cut the golden gate. a bit more east. that-the golden gate a bit mauric mauricetuesday, some blustery and cool temperatures. still, some showers and really cold weather the big story. more on that, coming up. >> bart authorities are warning robberies are on the rise nationwide. including this one in oakland which was caught on camera. and the royal baby watch continues. first public appearance since leaving a london hospital earlier this month. that story, c
to prevent from happening again. our white house spokesman, bee brianna keilar is joining us. what does he mean by specific action? >> reporter: specifically i don't know. when he said that yesterday in the briefing room and again during his weekly address, it's a general promise to do something to try to avert tragedies like this one. and i will tell you at the white house, certainly beyond the white house, there is a sense that what is in place isn't working. i mean, president obama has been president and sort of overseen or had to strike a tone of senseless tragedies, from ft. hood to the shooting of gabby giffords. and this scene as well takes it to a new level because of not only tragic crime. i've been talking to some sources who are familiar with the options that the president may have at his disposal. he has talked about renewing a ban on semiautomatic weapons. there's that. there's also been talk of perhaps limiting the number of bullets and magazines of perhaps moving forward with better legislation when it comes to mental health, identifying people who shouldn't have access to w
of it now. thousands of there's of your take home pay is on the line. brianna keilar live from washington this morning. this is a key point that the speaker just making. mcconnell and joe biden are talking. when things between mcconnell and reid stopped working, mcconnell, highest ranked republican in the senate, reid the highest ranking democrat in the senate. we have to believe some work is being done somewhere. >> some of it is being done somewhere. talking to an aide to senator mcconnell, we understand that discussions between biden and mcconnell went into the night so this is something that they are working on, although certainly, yes, it's being left to the last minute and unclear if we'll avert the fiscal cliff. talk to snom senators, and they say we are going over the cliff. some way they think there will be a deal by tonight and a vote by tonight, but the fact is it's very iffy. here is what's not iffy. an incentive if we go over the cliff to get this done. because it is -- both sides have been preparing themselves for the blame game. it is in full swing now. president obama said
cuts set to go into effect january 1st. cnn's brianna keilar is live in hawaii where the president is vacationing. br breanna, is the president overly optimistic a last-minute deal can be reached? >> reporter: i don't know, miguel, if you could say overly optimistic. we heard him last night in the briefing room of the white house saying he's a hopeless optimist that something can still be done. but the fact is it's going to be something smaller. he's now pushing for tax cuts to be preserved for americans making $250,000 or less and pushing for unemployment benefits to be extended for a couple million americans. listen to some of what he said but also still some of the house republican opposition to this short-term plan he's pushing. >> in the next few days i've asked leaders of congress to work towards a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class americans, protects unemployment insurance for 2 million americans, and lays the groundwork for further work on both growth and deficit reduction. that's an achievable goal. that can get done in ten days. >> the president's solution
with his family in hawaii. cnn's brianna keilar is there. there is no official word when he is coming back to the mainland but as that fiscal cliff deadline gets closer what do you think will happen as it rolls on? >> reporter: no official word the president will return to washington, i think that is the expectation. as you know, miguel, the senate will convene on december 27th, that's thursday. and in a perfect world, what the white house would want to see is the senate take up some sort of measure to avert the tax hikes that will hit people earning $250,000 or less. that's what they would want. that of course, would require some buy-in from senate republicans and ideally, as the white house would say that would then pass the house. now, that's lot of sort of wishful thinking, you might say, especially considering some of the pessimism we are hearing from democrats and republicans about whether the u.s. is going to go over the fiscal cliff. some folks think that perhaps senator mcconnell would not negotiate something with senate democrats if he wasn't sure that it was going to pass the ho
to consider whether that is necessary. >> let's bring in our white house correspondent briann brianna keilar. what do you see? >> president obama will be headed to newtown to speak at an interfaith vigil. he will be offering his condolences, no doubt striking a tone of uniyuan but not talking about what he sees as the solutions to avert something like this. the white house feels that they don't want to get into specifics about policies they might pursue in the wake of this tragedy. they're afraid that it would be counterproductive, that it would be inappropriate considering this tragedy just happened. but the sense that i gotten, wolf, is what president obama said yesterday should be seen very much as a pledge to do something more than just talk about this problem. and for right now, gun rights advocates are being very quiet. they are basically saying no comment. but gun control advocates are saying they want more than a vague pledge. just hours after the connecticut shooting a promise from president obama to tackle gun violence. >> we're going to have to come together and take meaningful ac
higher tax rate. >> brianna keilar is at the white house. brianna, are meetings going on outside of the public's view? is that your understanding? >> reporter: well, there are discussions. that is what we're told. as we understand it, obviously, the last meeting between the president and speaker boehner was on sunday. but we're told by both the white house and the speaker's office that discussions are ongoing, so, obviously, they can all pick up the telephone, and that, quote, the lines of communication are open. this is thing we're hearing over and over again. but make to mistake, there are no significant details of any progress, of any deal that has been struck. so at this point, we know that they still are pretty far apart. the white house still demanding and president obama said this yesterday when he was in michigan, that the tax rates for the first $250,000 of income be preserved and then not be preserved, let the tax rates for more than that, earnings more than that, expire. and right now, house republicans are holding fast to their position, which is, no, let all of the t
brianna keilar. good morning, brianna. >> good morning to you, soledad. yes, things are at an impasse here. i will tell you the white house after not being very happy with the pace of negotiations the week before last sent treasury secretary tim geithner up to the hill to outline this proposal. there's a lot we already knew about that president obama had already taken a public position on. the white house is now saying to republicans as well, we want you to put the meat on the bones when it comes to the entitlement reform portion of this deficit reduction plan. that's politically very tricky, as you know, because a lot of times dealing with entitlements will be construed as cuts to medicare and that's often not very popular. as you can imagine that deal that you just outlined, not received very well by republicans on the hill. >> i think we're going over the cliff. it's pretty clear to me they've made a political calculation. this offer doesn't remotely deal with entitlement reform in a way to save medicare and medicaid, and social security from imminent bankruptcy. the president's plan wh
, have you a chance to get it done. >> our white house correspondent, brianna keilar, live in washington, d.c. this morning. it doesn't sound like very much. but i guess we're making a lot out of it, a first step. any indication where it goes next? >> we don't know where it goes next. they are saying the lines of communication are open. we're expecting the white house and the speaker's office, they are going to continue talking. we don't know when the meeting, the next meeting will be between president obama and the speaker this is something certainly promising, because they haven't spoken in person for a few weeks. haven't spoken one-on-one since the election, so this is something that could be promising, but house republicans are still publicly saying they don't want to capitulate to the white house's demand that income tax rates for the wealthiest americans increase. that said, listen to what i agree ing number of republicans, including senator bob kocorker e saying. >> a growing group of folks are looking at this and realizing we don't have a lot of cards as it relates to the tax iss
correspondent brianna keilar is at the white house for us. lay out there for me, you have pointed out that the president himself has not done much on the issue of gun control. so what are the expectations of what meaningful action could specifically mean? >> reporter: well, gun control advocates, soledad, think that it should mean further gun legislation. they want to see action taken. the thing, though, is it's unclear exactly what president obama means by what he said yesterday in the briefing room, and he reiterated today in his weekly address. he wants to see meaningful action. if you go by his past, in 2008 while he was campaigning, he said he wanted to see a renewal of the semiautomatic weapon ban. the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. and there were a lot of tries in congress to renew that to no avail. he promised that. obviously something he didn't deliver on during his first term. the brady campaign a couple of years ago giving him an "f" when it comes to gun control. i was with him in july in new orleans where he spoke to the national urban league a few days after th
house correspondent brianna keilar is traveling with the president and joins us live from honolulu, hawaii, this morning. i'm talking to republican and democratic sources and they really feel like we're going to go over the cliff. what are you hearing? >> i'm hearing it's a very real possibility, and as you're hearing, they aren't even really talking, democrats and reyou public i had cans, the white house talks to senate democrats, but at this point, the white house is not in any real substan tiff conversations with both house republicans and senate republicans as all eyes turn to the senate, and perhaps because of that, some of the pessimism you heard from senator liberman there is shared by replicans. listen. >> when i listen to the president, i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. gets additional tax revenue for new programs, gets to cut the military and blame republicans for it. >> attention now turns to the senate which will reconvene on thursday. the 27th. house majority leade
correspondent there, brianna keilar, and, you know, to talk about the president's timetable here, 30 days, a month. you know washington, you've covered washington for years. is that even possible? >> reporter: it is still to be seen and you can't really overstate how difficult of an issue this is to tackle in washington and in congress, brooke. but the president laid out a timeline where he said vice president biden and this -- essentially a task force is going to be giving him specific policy recommendations no later than january and he said he wants congress to act in a timely fashion, next year. so meaning toward the beginning of the year, that's the extent of the timeline he laid out there. but i think what was also interesting was that he talked about appealing to the american people. and obviously this is something that he's been used to doing as he's been campaigning and tried to do this on the fiscal cliff as well. he made it very clear he will be using the bully pulpit to try to persuade americans and to really sort of seize the moment of just how people have responded differentl
on the democratic side. house speaker john boehner, mitch mcconnell representing the republicans. brianna keilar live from washington. what do we expect to happen today? any new offers from the president or house speaker? >> we don't know. right now, all eyes on the senate to see what senate majority leader harry reid can cobble together to get some republican support. technically, it's still possible to come to an agreement. that said, politically is a different story, and the prospects for coming to a deal are starting to dim. right now, we're hearing a whole lot of the blame game. a lot of public posturing from both sides as they prepare for the possibility of going over the cliff. let's listen to harry reid. >> we are here in washington working while members of the house of representatives are out watching movies and watching their kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, the speaker of the house, john boehner, sort of retorting to reid, ali. in a conference call he said the leaders should do more -- or pardon me. less talking and more legis
here in hawaii. >> that would be a wonderful way to spend christmas day. brianna keilar live from honolulu, hawaii, thanks. >>> other stories in the news, all day and all night this christmas people in newtown, connecticut are paying tribute to sandy hock's victims. a kindl is being lit for each children and 6 adults and volunteers are being asked to take half-hour gifts to make sure candles keep burning. one mother said, quote, it's all about the kids and the families and newtown police officers who have began through so much have received an entire gift. the whole force got the day off thanks to officers from other communities filling in for them. >> the pope's message. make room for god. he said the faster we could move, the more efficient or time-saying appliances become, the less time we have. he also said we're so full of ourselves we don't make room for each other and he called for peace in the middle east and the end to the violence in tieria. thousands celebrated christmas in the same place this we believe josephus was born. >>> hollywood is mourning the death of jack klu
're seeing a big shift a majority favoring compromise. white house correspondent brianna keilar is following this informatio negotiation, the ups and down. i'm not sure the polls matter as much as the members on both sides of the aisle. >> the good news is they are still talking, the white house and the speaker's office. president obama and the speaker have spoken. the staff is talking. when you listen to how they're characterizing conversations, it's not that great. from sunday's conversation that the speaker had with the president, he called that cordial. he just said that his conversation on tuesday night with the president was deliberate and frank. both the speaker and the white house have been asked about reports that actually that phone call was intense. that's something that jay carney did not dispute. >> simply say we confirm the call. the -- you know, one in a series of conversations as well as a meeting as you know recently that the president had with a speaker. armed towards the effort of trying to find some common ground on this important issue. >> i would say it was tense. there
versus 47% last august. let's turn to our white house correspondent brianna keilar. she's joining us. the president came out and didn't mince very words. >> reporter: no, wolf. this is the first time that president obama has laid out a time line. he appointed vice president biden to lead this group of cabinet lawmakers to come out with some solutions and he wants those recommends from him no later than january. the president said this time washington won't just talk about tackling gun violence. >> this is not some washington commission. this is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside. this is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now. >> reporter: he urged congress to vote early next year on an assault weapons ban and high ammunition clips and close the loopholes so all gun buyers are subject to background checks. >> we're going to need to work on making access to mental health cares at least as easy to access to a gun. we're going to need to look at a c
effect next week. cnn's white house correspondent brianna keilar is traveling with the president. >> reporter: president obama will leave tonight, travel overnight and arrive in washington late thursday morning as the senate is set to reconvene. all eyes right now are on the upper chamber of congress as this really is coming down to harry reid trying to cobble together a measure to avert the fiscal cliff. whether that can be achieved is still very much up in the air. as of right now, president obama has gone back to his original demand that the bush era tax cuts be extended only for the first $250,000 in earnings. the white house is talking to senate democrats about what their proposal may look like. but as of yet, neither is in communication with congressional republicans. and as the white house hashes out details of the reid plan with senate democrats, it's at this moment unclear exactly what form it will take, what it will look like, other than to deal no doubt wheith tax cuts. details may not be released for a few days as they try to get republican support, yes, but also try
with the president one-on-one. it seems to be a request that everyone was able to live with. brianna keilar is live for us at the white house. if this is the case that everybody has been cleared out of the room, does that surprise you? it seems to make sense to me. >> reporter: it's not surprising at all. this is what observers of this process thought would happen all along. ultimately this was a process that would come down to president obama and house speaker john boehner brokering a deal. very much the way you saw they attempted to do during the debt ceiling debacle last year. it simplifies the problem of less cooks in the kitchen. then they will have to sell it. president obama would have to bring in democrats. john boehner would have to bring in his republicans and make sure everyone is on board. this comes on the heels of what has really been radio silence between the white house and house republicans. we found out yesterday, we were told by both sides that the lines of communication are back open on the staff level. i will tell you that's kind of fun funny to anyone here covering all this be
according to our white house correspondent brianna keilar. but he will be making a statement, jessica yellin, our chief white house correspondent, does tell us. i think based on our reporting the president wants to wait until the governor of connecticut has actually spoken up on this issue, the white house anxious to get information, the president has been fully briefed on what we know right now. and, remember, a lot of times in a situation like this, a developing situation, some of the initial information proves to be inaccurate, so we want to be as precise as we possibly can be. based on our reporting from susan candiotti, though, who is now on the scene in newtown, connecticut, close to 30 people are dead. of them, 18 to 20 children at that sandy hook elementary school. susan candiotti is still with us. susan, parents who have rushed to that school, especially those parents who are getting the awful news about their kids, do you know where they are, how this is being handled? >> reporter: well, i know that when the children were first led from the school, and this was after police said th
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